Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tiger by the tail

By Capt. Fogg

Bush's desperate attempts to justify his crimes are so shoddily constructed as to pass enough light to illuminate his lying soul. When he "declassified" or perhaps invented data showing Osama bin Laden had a desire to use Iraq as a base for operations against the US yesterday and used it as a justification for the same operations that gave Osama bin Laden the opportunity to do that, he hoped you wouldn't once again smell the sophistry.

Osama, of course, had no reason to choose Iraq and no expectation that any attempt to operate there would meet with anything but brutal repression by the Shia-hating and brutal Sunni dictator, Saddam Hussein. We gave him the chance, not just by replacing a strongman with a vacuum, but by completely eliminating order and security in Iraq.

Bush is expected to let this bit of self-incriminating idiocy loose today at a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. I have no idea as to whether the newly minted Coasties will buy it. Admitting that you screwed up at the cost of a hundred thousand lives or so and at the cost of making the world a very much more dangerous place is not the best way to sell anyone on continuing to take your advice much less continuing your occupation of an increasingly hostile country. But you never know. The urge to follow and even worship leaders is good evidence for the lack of intelligent design behind our species.

Of course, the story depends not only on the belief in Bush's honesty and intelligence to serve its purpose as jingoistic propaganda for the troops; it needs you to believe that information obtained with red hot tongs and cattle prods from Abu Faraj al-Libbi, yet another one of the seemingly endless processions of "number two" al Qaeda men is dependably accurate. I wouldn't bet a wooden nickel on it, much less the fate of the nation and the world.

Bush's "tiger by the tail" gambit is a desperate move. It essentially boils down to "yes, I deceived you and killed many of you for reasons of profit and power unrelated to your safety, but now we can't afford to stop because it would be dangerous." That's much like the argument against abolition saying that you can't let the slaves go now because they hate us so much for enslaving them.

I have little faith in gung ho young men with their minds stuffed full of indoctrination. Bush will probably be cheered and hats will fly in the air. In his dreams, perhaps the Caligula of Crawford sees the military rising up to stomp out dissent and democracy so his wars can go on forever. That's one small dream for a traitor and a giant nightmare for the rest of us.

(Cross-posted at Human Voices.)

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